Things are beginning to look up here at the Cebulski household. Joe is still not feeling great, but today he finally felt okay enough to get out of the RV for a few hours. His fever broke last night...but he still can't believe how bad his throat hurts. And I still feel fine, which seems like a minor miracle.

After driving cross-country and stopping to collect vegetable oil every day or every other day, we have been astounded how long a tank of oil lasts for just normal driving. We did all that driving last week with my mom on less than 1/2 of a tank of oil. In fact, we went oil hunting today (and filled up the tank again, plus 3 extra 5 gallon jugs) and it was the first time we had to get oil since arriving in California. We figure we get close to 20 miles to the gallon when we're not towing the RV. So many things around here require a 20-45 minute drive...and it feels SO good to not have to burn diesel to get places. I love the smell of that veggie oil burning!

Yesterday morning Rowan and I dropped my mom off at the San Francisco airport and then decided to explore downtown San Fran a bit. We went through Chinatown, the closest beach to the city, and to the touristy Fisherman's Wharf. They were having a free Halloween festival...free pumpkin patch, treats, all sorts of things. It was unbelievably busy. I didn't manage to take many photos...I think I was too busy tending to Rowan, maneuvering her stroller through that mass of humanity, and trying to get my bearings in such a big city. I've always loved the feeling of independence and competence that comes from exploring a new place on my own. Trying to do it with a 2 year old added a bit of stress that I wasn't entirely prepared for....but we still had a fun day. We just wish that Joe could have been there with us! I posted just a handful of pictures (don't get your hopes up) here.


Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town

My mom, Rowan, and I visited the Sacramento Zoo and a nearby park called Fairytale Town today. It was another gorgeous day, so it was good to be outside. Rowan is completely better, so she is a lot more fun to be around. I think she's been wearing Grandma out---she wants to constantly engage, read, play, paint. The zoo was okay--not as good as Memphis (which was just an hour from us in Jonesboro), but enough for a 2 year old.

Joe is still really sick. Today was even worse than yesterday. I think he must be going stir crazy because he hasn't really left the RV in 3 days. We're praying that I don't get this thing (or my mom)...because there's been enough sickness in this Dutchmen for a season. Plus, we'd like for him to get on with his training! He's really excited about Dan (Joe will blog on that and the training facility soon...) and it's hard to miss days because of being sick.

Not much else to report. If you want to see some pictures from the day, click here.


Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday we went to a fabulous pumpkin patch near Lodi, CA. It was perfect weather again...and this place was just enchanted. They had pumpkins, whimsical scarecrows, hay tunnels, cornstalk teepees, flowers, tractors, and lots of animals. It was a great time. We also explored another nearby town. We live about 15-20 minutes from several medium-sized towns, so we have to decide where to go for groceries, doctor, laundry, etc. We're having fun exploring the area. It's nice to have my mom here--we did some grocery shopping and laundry today. Rowan insisted on wearing her Halloween costume (a pumpkin) all day...so she was quite charming while we were out and about.

Rowan is better...but now Joe is sick. And he's definitely feeling empathy for Rowan--he's just been laid up the last 2 days. He had a fever last night and has had a really bad cough all day today, which is frustrating when he would like to be training!

Judah has also been in rough shape--we spent a few hours at the vet this morning getting some meds for a bladder infection and some really itchy skin. I'm the only one in the family who's been healthy the last week!

Check out pictures of the pumpkin patch here.


Redwoods: Muir Woods

Today my Mom arrived from Grand Rapids to spend a few days with us. She bought a plane ticket to come out before we even left Jonesboro...we thought we were going to get here by late September or early October, but instead we only beat her here by about a week!

We're glad she's here: we needed some relief with Rowan, and it will be fun to explore the area with my mom for a few days. After I picked her up at the San Francisco airport this morning, we headed to Muir woods for a nice long walk among the giant redwood trees. We saw an owl (watched it for many long minutes as it hunted for rodents along the streams), and a huge group of ladybugs that turned a fence red (Joe later informed us that it was somewhat of an insect lovefest). Rowan seems to be feeling a bit better...by late afternoon (after a nap in the stroller at the redwoods) she was perking up and even insisted on taking Grandma to our "beach" on the river. We've been every day this week so far!

I got pulled over in downtown San Francisco. If you've ever driven there, you'll know that the traffic lights are very inconspicuously placed to the right and left of the intersection--not overhead where they should be. So you have to pay very close attention and trust me, they're easy to miss. Especially when you catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge and are distracted by a myriad of other sights in such a cool city. I guess I ran a red light. The cop didn't seem very nice, but I was just honest and told him I wasn't from around here and missed it. He let me off with a warning!

I didn't have my camera with me at dinner, but we went to this restaurant in Rio Vista (where we technically live--about 10 min. from the RV) called Foster's. They have one of the biggest collections of large game animals on display in the world. The original owner did lots of big game hunting in the 30s and 40s before it was illegal, and there is an elephant head (yes, a huge elephant head), a giraffe neck and head (one of less than 12 in the world...good thing!), lion, tiger, monkeys, rhinos, hippos, moose, and anything else you can think of. It was kind of spooky, sad, interesting, and hilarious all at the same time. Rowan loved it.

While we were in Grand Rapids, Rowan obsessively wanted to do these 2 large floor puzzles at Grandma and Grandpa's house....every day it was her main request. My mom is an extremely light packer (just had a carry-on)...but she made room for both puzzles in her bag. Needless to say, Rowan was pumped. Doing the floor puzzle with grandma was the end to the best day she's had in over a week!

You can check out a few pics of the redwoods (and the puzzle) here.


Sherman Island Beach

Not too much to report today. Rowan hasn't improved much---I called the doctor and they said to wait a few days and see if the symptoms lessen. She's been complaining of a sore throat, and today there was a nasty cough to accompany it. And extreme moodiness, which is the worst part for us. But since there is no fever, it's probably just a really bad cold.

Joe had the good idea to get out in the sun for a few hours to collect some vitamin D. He remembered a place Tye took him a few years back...and it turned out to be less than 1 mile down from our RV park! Just a small beach cove on the Sacramento River where lots of windsurfers and kite-boarders start from. We are actually on Sherman Island, and the place we went is Sherman Island Park. Today was a calm day, but it was warm....Joe and Rowan even got in the water. Perfect for a toddler---clear, calm, shallow. It was the happiest she's been in days.

I added just a few pictures here.


Napa Valley

We had a beautiful day exploring the Napa Valley today with other athletes training here. One of the board members at Tigerbar Sports is Dr. Prabhjit Purewal. In addition to finishing med school at the age of 20, he also qualified that year (1980) for the Olympics in the steeplechase for India. India, along with the US and many other countries, boycotted the Olympics that year and he didn't get to compete. But he still has a love for track and field and has been a big supporter of Tigerbar. He mostly practices in Stockton--he has a cancer center there (St. Teresa Cancer Center) and has done a lot of innovative research on cancer and HIV. He also teaches at Stanford. And speaks 11 languages. What an interesting man! Joe said when he shook his hand that he could feel that this was one of the smartest people he had ever met.

So Dr. Prabhjit planned a day of wine tasting for us today---he loves wine country so much that he counts the Napa Valley as one of his homes. He was generous enough to take us around to his favorite places, treat us to lunch, and educate us on fine wines and the area. It was a perfect day--nearly 80 and sunny--and a short hour and a half drive into this amazing valley. We had a long, relaxing day hanging out at one vineyard, then the next, and finally lounging by the pool of another and having a mid-day meal. It was a great way for us to get to know some of the other athletes living here. And the real treat of the whole day was that it was all planned for us---we just went along and enjoyed whatever came next!

Rowan had a rough day---that was the only bummer about the day. She doesn't have a fever, but something is definitely not right. If she doesn't seem a lot better by tomorrow, I'm going to take her to the doctor. I feel like I spent much of the day shielding her from ruining everyone's good time! As a parent you want everyone to see and know the same cute, verbal, active, clever child that you know, right? She was anything but those things today---spent most of it buried in my neck, seldom walking, not saying a word all day unless it was accompanied by a whine. When all these nice people tried to engage her, they just got scowls and cold shoulders. She must not be feeling well, but it still made for a long day for me.

Check out some photos of our day here. The Napa Valley is truly an enchanted place and one I'm sure we will visit again during this year.

Our new stomping grounds

I've added a few pictures to the Flickr site of the area around where we live. There aren't many photos, I promise to add more soon. Rowan has had a really rough couple of days...had a fever Thursday and Friday, and hasn't really recovered yet. She's just not been herself, so it's been hard to explore or focus on photos much. I did get to the library and the laundromat, but that's about it.

Joe spent a few days training and is really excited about working with Dan Pfaff (read more about Dan by linking through Tigerbar Sports.) Dan has already shown him several things to do differently in his sprints--so Joe is excited about the possibility of getting just a bit faster! I haven't taken any pictures of the training facility yet---but it is eerily like the building in Jonesboro. In the middle of nowhere...cows all around...you'd never guess that a bunch of Olympic-hopefuls were training there!

We had a visit from my good friend from college, Edye, and her husband and sister on Saturday. They are expecting their first baby any day now, so it was fun to see her pregnant. They live in Sacramento, so it will be just an hour drive to see them this year. Of course I didn't take any pictures!

If you want to see a few pictures, click here.



We arrived in California yesterday!

It has been a long journey to get here--we've done lots of work and made lots of life changes in the last 2 months to be in the position for Joe to train this year--so it feels great to finally be here! Joe will have his first day of training with the coach and other athletes today.

During the last 2 months, we have had a lot of things "fall in place" that made us feel affirmed in our decision to move to California. Our house sold quickly, we found a truck and RV relatively fast, and sold lots of other possessions in an efficient manner.

One piece of the puzzle that has been uncertain is where we would park our RV. We have known about a few possibilities, and people here assured us that we should come and it would work out. The issue has been "hook-ups"...there may be a place to put the RV, but how would we get water, electricity, and have a place to dump our black-water? If we "boon-docked," which means no hook-ups, we'd have to find a place to fill up on water, use a generator, and tow the RV somewhere once or twice a week to dump the dirty water. In short, we could do it...but it would take some serious effort. RV parks are all over..but typically cost between $20-$30 a night. Not something we can afford this year.

A long-jumper here named Seun heard our good friend Tye talking about us coming and asking around about possible places for us. Seun offered to help--and called us about 3 days ago with an amazing offer. She happened to coach the child of a family who owns a very classy RV park close to the training facility on Twitchell Island. Seun told them about us and about our situation and Joe's training, and they agreed for us to be at their RV park for the entire year for FREE! We're still working out the details---and we will for sure do some work in exchange for the hook-ups (like edging all the sites)...but it's an amazing blessing.

For one, it's a beautiful park right on the Sacramento River and near the foot of Mt. Diablo---this is actually one of the best places to windsurf in the whole country, so lots of windsurfers camp and RV around here. Some RV parks aren't so great....but this one is meticulously kept, clean, with brick-paved pads for the RV. We not only have water and electrical hook-up, but we also have a place to dump our black water right at our spot (most campgrounds have one dump-station, so if you're staying long-term, you still have to pull the RV over to it on a regular basis...and it isn't easy to maneuver a 35 foot trailer in and out of sites that frequently.)

So we're feeling very blessed today. Rowan actually has a bit of a fever, so I've been camped out with her all morning. She's pretty lethargic and definitely needs to stick close to home today. It's my personality to want to get out and check everything out--find out where the grocery store is, the library, the post office, etc, and get oriented. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I will have plenty of time for all of that in the coming weeks!
I'll try to take more pictures of the area and post them soon.


Bonneville Salt Flats

After we left the Calvins on Monday, we drove a few hours and stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where they do land speed records and test out race cars. It was just miles and miles of perfectly flat, white sand. It felt a bit like being on another planet. They do the racing right in front of the mountains you see on the horizon of this picture. We had a fun time running and playing on the salt. We arrived right before sunset and had perfect light, so we got some great photos. This one of me and Rowan looks “staged” but is actually a spontaneous moment that Joe caught. I think it will be one of my all-time favorites.

We spent Monday night at a Casino parking lot in Wendover, Nevada. Strange place to be, but we didn’t have many other options---there is a lot of nothingness in western Utah and eastern Nevada. We even ate supper at the Casino—I thought Rowan would faint from over-stimulation of all the neon lights. I had one of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had—go figure. Tuesday we made it to Lovelace, Nevada, and now we’re driving the last few hours to California today. We’re excited to get there, but sad that this part of the trip is over, too.

To see more photos of the salt flats, click here.


Provo, Utah: the Calvin Family

We met Mark and Katie Calvin in Jonesboro back in 2001. They moved to Jonesboro so that Mark could train in the pole vault with Earl Bell, too. They are a really cool couple with a family that has recently grown to 5---they have Emma (4), Hannah (2), and Spencer (3 weeks). They moved to Provo about a year ago for Mark's job at Nestle...and we missed them in Jonesboro!

We had a great couple of days visiting the Calvins at their new home in Provo. They cooked us a yummy dinner on Sunday night and Rowan had a blast playing with the girls and all their toys! We slept at a near-by Walmart parking lot and then met up again this morning for a drive up into the mountains. We crammed all 8 of us into their car so we could spend more time together. The drive was beautiful and we had a relaxing lunch at a gorgeous mountain spot, then walked around a mountain stream for awhile. What an amazing time of year to be seeing the country---the yellows just don't seem real. Time passed too quickly in the mountains...the air was crisp but the sun still warm. And the company was great.

The Calvins were more than gracious to welcome us in their home while still adjusting to a newborn...to cook for us, show us the sites, treat us to lunch, and share lots of laughs together. They are patient, laid back, excellent parents. Conversation flowed smoothly, the kids got a long great (barring some 2 year old whining at the end!), and the time spent together was just "easy." We look forward to seeing them again on another cross-country trip! Thanks Mark, Katie, Emma, Hannah, and Spencer!

If you want to see some pictures of our time together, click here.
If you want to check out Katie's family blog, click here.


Flaming Gorge

We had a beautiful day in and around the Flaming Gorge Park yesterday. Realizing that we won't have such easy access to mountain grandeur our whole lives, we decided to spend two nights in this location and enjoy an entire day exploring. Wow! We're right in the northern corner of Utah--right by Wyoming and not far from Colorado. Mountains, streams, apsens turning brilliant yellow. We saw mountain rams right along the road, wild turkey, deer, and lots of new birds. We just meandered around dirt roads, stopped at a mountain lake (where it was snowing!) for lunch, explored some creeks and took breaks wherever it looked beautiful. We took too many pictures. Some of them are posted to a new set at Flickr. Click here if you want to see them.

There is something about wide expanses of unspoiled nature that usher you into the presence of God. You don't have to mention it or talk about it or ask for it, you are just there. Feeling his love for beauty, his creativity, and his diversity.


Finally Left Laramie!

We finally left Laramie. The truck got finished right after noon today (a new alternator, 6 new glow plugs, a new wiring systems for 2 of our injectors, and a chunk of money. We are starting up and running great now!). Joe collected some perfect veggie oil in Laramie, and we were eager to hit the road again. We drove about 4 hours to a campground in a tiny town called Manila, right over the border in Utah near the Flaming Gorge. We didn't arrive until dark, so we'll get to explore the area tomorrow.

We had a fun day in Laramie yesterday. We walked somewhere around 8 miles. University of Wyoming has an extensive dinosaur museum...so we trekked the 3 miles to see that. For those of you who don't know, Rowan stopped taking naps right at 2 years old. Once in a while (every month or so?) she will fall asleep during the day---usually in the car or some other odd place. Yesterday, she fell asleep in the stroller. For a kid who never takes a nap, we hate to wake her up! But we didn't want her to miss the museum, so we let her sleep for awhile, then finally woke her up. She loved the museum...took Joe all around saying "let me show you this other dinosaur, daddy!" We even got to watch some graduate students working on bones.

We wandered campus...a beautiful fall day on a gorgeous campus. It made us both nostalgic for college. What is it about all those old buildings and big trees and yellow leaves falling everywhere that just makes you want to carry a backpack and meet your friends at the dining hall?

Last night we watched a movie and hunkered down for another night at the Walmart parking lot. We ran out of water, so Joe even made friends with the guys at the Walmart Garden Center and got them to fill up some of our 5 gallon jugs with water. It always amazes me what Joe gets when he asks. He says it's just about being confident when you ask. I think it's his rugged good looks.

I posted some new pictures to the album at Flickr. Click here to see them.


Laramie Day 2

Joe here. As the saying goes...being prepared is half the victory. So we are spending a few more days in Laramie learning what the other half is. After a great deal of effort in Grand Rapids ensuring that the truck was in ship shape for the trip...we are in Wyoming fixing the things that weren't.

The alternator and glow plug relay need to be replaced. These are important for two things...starting the truck, and keeping it running, both of which I highly value. Some parts need to be ordered and we may be here through Friday as well.

Spirits are high though as we are together and enjoying being halfway to Cali. This morning when we awoke, there were four pronghorn grazing outside the "Dutch" (we have decided that our home needs a better moniker than the RV). We have found Wyoming to be an expansive place...lightly populated by people who would have no problem keeping it that way.

The only issue so far in Laramie is the lack of transportation. Not so much for sustenance as for enjoyment. The mountains are so close, but we can only enjoy them by sight, not by foot. If anyone has a few bicycles they wouldn't mind overnighting, that would be great!

I believe that Laura added a few more pics to the Flickr site here enjoy!



People really look at you strange when you're pushing a stroller carrying not a baby, but a gas can.

Let me back up.

We have had a great couple of days travelling cross country. After the night in Iowa, we made it to a state park right past Kearney, Nebraska and had another relaxing night and morning in a pretty location. We continued west yesterday and managed to make it to right past Cheyenne, Wyoming to a state park called Curt Dowdy. It was a beautiful place (photos above) and we were the ONLY ones camping there. In the first picture, you can just make out our RV near the center of the pic. And it was only $12 to camp! We saw some people fishing, but that was it. It was quiet, chilly at night, and the stars were amazing.

We gained quite a bit of altitude to get to the spot (it was at near 8000 feet) and the truck was struggling. I actually drove for several hours yesterday (not just interstate!) and as we got close to the park, I had to keep the pedal to the floor to keep our speed up. The battery light was also flickering. And this morning, it wouldn't start. Joe worked on it for awhile (mind you---no cell phone reception or wireless, and literally NO ONE at the park), Rowan and I sat in the RV and prayed, and finally it started in a cloud of white smoke. So we drove about 20 miles west to Laramie, Wyoming, found a mechanic, parked the RV at Walmart, then Joe delivered the truck and ran the 3.5 miles back to Walmart to wait with us and see what happens.

This is a bit frustrating because we did the right thing and took the truck in to a mechanic in Grand Rapids before we left---we knew this would be a long, hard trip and wanted to make she she was good to go. But I guess they can't catch everything. The mechanic said partly we're dealing with an altitude issue, but he also thinks some glow plugs (?) are out, and maybe the alternator. We definitely want to get those issues resolved before tackling the mountains....which we can see in a lovely view from the Walmart parking lot (did you know that you can park an RV overnight at any Walmart?). It also isn't a veggie oil issue. We ran the truck on both diesel and veggie oil yesterday to see if we could figure anything out, and if anything, the truck had better power on veggie oil.

So I had to walk from Walmart down a few miles to a place with better wireless connection---and we also needed to get a gallon of gas for the generator tonight. That's why I'm pushing a stroller with a gas can in it, and getting lots of strange looks. Hey, it beats carrying the gas that far.

In an effort to remain positive, here are the things I am thankful for:

1. We needed a break from driving. Rowan especially. She was super cranky this morning, and it was good to just hunker down with her and read, do puzzles, and take it easy. She's a great traveler in the car, but it's still been a lot of driving time.

2. Our home is on wheels! So even though we're at the Walmart parking lot, we have everything we need with us, it's comfortable, it's familiar, and we'll even sleep in our own beds.

3. The weather is perfect. We won't need air conditioning tonight, and if we need the heater, we have plenty of propane! We also filled up on water and emptied all the gross stuff this morning.

4. It's really beautiful out here. Why do so few people live in Wyoming?

5. We have the garmin. We call her Gerty. She's our GPS. We got her to make it easier to find veggie oil (wherever you are, you can plug in "restaurants" or even "asian" and it will tell you exactly where the closest ones are, give you the phone number, then tell you exactly how to get there). We've used her for that, definitely. But we also used her to find the Walmart Supercenter, the mechanic, the wireless connection, our elevation, and on and on. It is really easy and convenient, and has saved us lots of hassle.

If you want to check out a few more pics that were added to the Trip to CA album, click here

And here's one last pic of me and Rowan this morning, eating our cereal on the steps of the RV. Nice way to wake up, huh?


First Day on the Road

We had a successful launch to our journey west today. We drove about 5 hours and made it to Davenport, Iowa. This photo is from this morning, right before we left my parent's house.

We stopped at a beautiful rest-stop just outside of Chicago for lunch. You can see a few pictures if you click here. It was fun to actually USE the RV instead of just working on it! We made lunch and let Rowan play on the playground for awhile...and then I took a turn driving the truck while pulling the 5th wheel for the first time! It was a bit nerve-racking...you have to concentrate and continually remind yourself that you're towing such a big load. But I think I can get the hang of it. I don't want Joe to have to drive the entire way to California.

After we set up the RV at the site (we opted for full hook-ups on our first night!) Joe went hunting for some veggie oil---and got a full tank between the first 2 restaurants he tried. The oil was clear and pumped fast. This is great news! We had supper, took a walk, Joe tried out the shower, and I just put Rowan to bed. It's her FIRST night not sleeping in a crib or pack-n-play, so hopefully it will go well. We've been talking up her "big girl bed" in hopes that she would be excited about it--we'll see if it pans out tonight or not.

I created a folder on Flickr for pictures from our trip...there are just a handful on there now from today, but I will add more to the set as we go.

We're off!

We finally left this morning! Joe urged me to check how good our internet connection was from the road (we got a Sprint wireless card)---and I have super-fast connection, so I decided to blog. So we are actually driving right now--just west of Chicago. We're not going to go too far today, just get a few hours under our belt. We haven't actually slept in the RV yet, so we want to get all set up and ready for the night well before nightfall.

It feels really good to be driving west and to have finally completed all of the work related to this move. It's a great feeling to have everything we need for the year in a trailer behind us, and to be burning veggie oil in the truck. The truck is running great on the veggie oil, and is managing to tow the 5th wheel with relative ease.

This last month in Michigan would not have been possible without both sets of our parents. They allowed us to (literally) take over their houses, trash their garages with our tools and sorting, take care of Rowan so we could work, and feed us really great meals. And all of this without complaint! A few years ago, both of our parents had managed to give us the last box that was stored in their basements of college stuff and childhood memorabilia. And they have both graciously allowed us to move stuff BACK into their basements for the year. Thanks, Mom and Dad Cebulski and Mom and Dad Hoeksema! We don't take for granted your support of our crazy adventure and lifestyle!

We're pulling up to a rest stop---gonna hit the 5th-wheel fridge and make some sandwiches!

More later.


RV Renovations

I posted a bunch more pictures of the finished RV on flickr...click here to see them.
It has taken us considerably longer than anticipated, but we are finally (almost) ready to go. We have finished many details and feel more than ready to go. We're planning on heading out Sunday morning and taking several days to get to CA.
We are excited to actually live in the RV and learn all the ins and outs of RV use...I'm sure there will be a future post about dumping the black-water, fidgeting with the awning, and lots of other things we are still green about!


Misc. Michigan Pics

I also uploaded some pictures of our time in Michigan---heavy on Rowan pictures, what can I say? If you're interested, here's the link.

I'll add more later, so check back in.

I love this picture of Rowan and Joe

Live Lightly Tour

A few months ago, Joe came across a blog called "Live Lightly." We were trying to come up with ideas to remodel the RV, and he stumbled on the site. The Live Lightly Tour is comprised of Matt and Sara Janssen and their 3 year old daughter, Bella. They are travelling around the country in their veggie oil powered RV, teaching people about more simple, sustainable living. They have a very cool website at www.livelightlytour.com. Sara takes amazing photos--you can follow some links and see her work on her Flickr site (she's the one who encouraged me to get on the ball and post stuff to Flickr!)

We have a lot in common with the Janssens, so we were excited to learn that they would be in Grand Rapids on a tour stop this past weekend. We got to have lunch with them at my parent's house, they came to our open house, then we hung out a bit downtown the next day. We had a lot of questions for them since they are a few months ahead of us on their journey of RV living....and Joe and Matt talked endlessly about veggie oil collection and systems. I especially appreciate their commitment to getting Christians to think about sustainable living and "creation care"...and showing us that it isn't so complicated to care for the earth! The Janssens are an inspiring family and we were glad to spend some time with them. We hope to catch up with them again when they get out to CA in the Spring.

There are some photos of our time with the Janssens here.

To see Sara's blog of Grand Rapids, click here.

To see a few photos from Sara of our time together, click here.

Open House Pics

I didn't do a great job of taking pics at the open house....but there are a few posted here.

I just started posting some pictures to Flickr----so I'll try to update when I add photos there.

I promise to post better photos of the finished RV soon!


RV shots

We had a very fun RV Open House last night at Ada Park. Family and friends from the area were able to stop in and see our new place---it was fun to give tours! We barely finished the RV in time...when are we ever going to learn how to accurately estimate the time a project will take? We have done many projects in our marriage--a coffee house, a darkroom, a house (and new kitchen, bathroom, and garage apartment!), and countless other countertops, stained-glass windows, etc. And no matter how "realistic" we try to be about how long it will take, it ALWAYS takes longer than we thought. Joe was up until the wee hours of the night on Saturday finishing up his very cool curtains for the main living area. So we thought we'd be in Grand Rapids about 2 weeks remodeling the RV. It's turning out to be more like a month!

We're thankful that we don't have any deadlines, and we've had some great time with family and friends here in MI. We've touched every surface of the RV (with the exception of the bathrooms---we'll save that for later). We put in new flooring, Joe poured a concrete countertop and tiled the table, we made curtains, painted all the walls, changed all the hardware, put new glass in cabinets, added a new couch and chairs, added a TV and stereo system, and put in a lot of finishing touches: trim pieces, an oak step, chalkboard, spice rack, rugs, utensil hanger. We think it looks great! You can see a few pictures (both before and after from the open house)....but we'll post more soon. I'm going to start a Flikr album soon...so I'll be able to post more pictures to view. Plus we'll take more detailed pics of the finished RV....these will just give you an idea!